Time: 12 to 20 minutes

Equipment: Dumbbell

Good for: Total body

Instructions: Starting with the first move, complete as many reps as possible for 40 seconds while maintaining proper form. Then rest for 20 seconds as you prepare for the next exercise. Repeat this pattern through all three moves, then rest for one minute. Complete three to five rounds total.

Bree Branker, NASM-certified trainer, created this exclusive workout to help tone your entire body.

Shoulder Tap And Jack

How to: Get into a plank position, with your hands stacked directly under your shoulders. Keeping your core engaged, tap your right shoulder with your left hand as you jump your feet outward. Return to start. Repeat on the opposite side. That’s one rep. Complete as many reps as possible in 40 seconds, then rest for 20 seconds. Continue to the next move.

Chest Press To Squat

How to: Stand up straight, with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a single dumbbell between both your hands. Simultaneously jump your feet out wide, and press the dumbbell straight out in front of your body. Jump back to start. Then, lower your body into a squat position, and reach your dumbbell toward the ground. Jump back to start. That’s one rep. Complete as many reps as possible in 40 seconds, then rest for 20 seconds. Continue to the next move.

Plank To Jump Squat

How to: Get into a plank position with your hands stacked directly under your shoulders, and core engaged. Bend your knees and stretch your body backward, with your arms stretched long in front of you. Press through the top of your feet, and jump forward, landing in a squat position. From here, jump as high as you can, and swing your arms behind your body. Bend down and place your hands back on the ground, then jump back to a plank position. That’s one rep. Complete as many reps as possible in 40 seconds, then rest for 20 seconds. Continue to the next move. Take one minute of rest. Complete three to four rounds total.

But wait, there’s (lots) more! This is just one of the four workouts in Women’s Health’s 4-Week Summer Workout Challenge. Each week, you’ll tackle four different workouts: lower-body, upper-body, full-body, and abs. Join our Facebook group for daily motivation, progress checks, and more!

Kristine Thomason Fitness & Wellness Editor Kristine Thomason is the fitness & wellness editor at Women’s Health, where she edits, writes, and helps oversee the food and fitness sections of the website and magazine.

Exercising hard and pushing yourself to your maximum can be very important to reaching your overall fitness goals, no matter what your goals may be. However, knowing when to take it easy can be just as important but can be a difficult concept to apply.

Taking it easy is not necessarily a difficult idea – who doesn’t want to take it easy? The tricky part is knowing when to take it easy and how easy you can go and still be able to make headway towards your fitness goals.

Knowing the signals your body sends out is something that you have to take a “learn as you go” approach to. It is very difficult to explain the sensory feelings of pain and stiffness associated with exercise especially when trying to explain the differences between what is ok and what is not. One pain is good whereas another is bad, as well as one stretch is good where another is bad. Each one of these feelings has to be learned over time so you know when to keep pushing and when to take it easy.

Another one of theses “feelings” is that of soreness brought on by your last workout. Sometimes taking 24-48 hours to show up, deep muscle sorriness, ligament, tendon, and muscle stiffness as well as joint aches and pains, caused by strenuous, intense workouts, is not something you want to ignore. Often people will try to push through the pain and do another intense cardio or strength training program not realizing that they are just re-injuring areas that were already injured, starting the healing process all over again and potentially causing more damage. All this does is slow your progress as you have to let your body heal before doing another intense workout.

That is where workouts like this video come in handy, though it may be hard enough to be an intense workout for someone who has never been physically active before. For most of the population it will be a low intensity workout that will do a great job of burning calories without taxing your body to the point of re-injuring muscles, tendons, ligaments, or joints that may be sore form a previous workout. This workout’s ability to do just that is what makes it a great recovery day workout.

So, if you are ever feeling sore from a workout this routine would be a great way to keep your momentum going without causing more harm than good by going too intense. Pay attention to your body and don’t overwork yourself. If you are not sure whether or not you should do an intense workout then always err on the side of caution and go for less intense over more intense. You may not burn as many calories that day as you could have but you will make sure your body has plenty of time to heal up and get ready for that next intense routine.

Just because this video is low impact does not mean it does not burn calories. Even when you are working out at a lower intensity you are still burning calories and the total body motions in this video definitely keep the average calorie burn up. You can expect to burn anywhere from 5 calories per minute on the low end, up to 9 calories per minute on the high end, giving you a total calorie burn of 150 to 270 calories for this 30 minute video.

7 Exciting Body Toning Exercises for Full Body Toning


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Beat monotony! Take a break from your same old workout with these fun full body toning routines!

If you usually limit yourself to weight lifting or steady-state cardio on the treadmill, these fat-blasting HIIT and yoga workouts might be just what you need. They’re short workouts that challenge you to finish every single rep.

You don’t need to spend hours on the treadmill or the bike to see results. In fact, research has shown that interval workouts are just as effective. These quick, but intense, workouts deliver all the same benefits in half the time, with twice the fun!

Short, effective workouts are great for keeping your motivation high. You’ll stay committed, have more fun, and see results in the mirror even sooner than expected.

If you need to beat gym monotony, try any of these 7 workouts filled with body toning exercises that work!

1. Beginner’s Total Body Fat Blasting Routine

We recommend this workout for beginners wanting to lose body fat and build endurance. If you can’t run a mile (yet!), this routine is a good way to start working on your heart health. It’ll help you slowly build up that cardiac endurance so that you’re able to run for longer.

It combines a little bit of cardio with a little bit of strength training. Both cardio and strength training are indispensable for long-term, total-body transformations.

You can do this workout about twice per week, alternating walking/jogging and dumbbell lifting on other days. This format is great losing weight and keeping it off!

2. The Ultimate No Equipment Fat Sizzling Workout

Fast paced, and with little rest, this workout gives you a total body challenge. It’s a great way to get a full workout in when you’re running short on time.

The workout is built around three sets that you’ll perform. The sets balance plyometric exercises (explosive moves that double as cardio), and bodyweight strength training. You’ll be doing burpees, squat jumps, walking lunges, mountain climbers, and more!

3. Spell Your Name A.M. Workout

Use this workout to get up and go!

Morning workouts can sound like a chore. After all, who would want to do burpees before breakfast? Nevertheless, once you get going it can actually be easier to complete your workout if you do it early.

Your body has plenty of energy from the night’s rest. And since exercising gets your blood pumping, morning workouts can actually help you feel more awake.

Although we recommend this Spell Your Name workout for the morning, you can do it any time of the day. It’s a fun workout because the format is different. You have moves to complete for every letter of your name. If just your name is too easy (I’m looking at you Mia), then you can try spelling your first, middle, AND last names!

4. Low Impact Fat Blaster

We’ve made low impact workouts an important part of Skinny Ms because it’s important to take care of our joints and bones. If you’re recovering from an injury, just starting out, or simply hesitant to put too much strain on your body, try this low impact workout.

Sure, the challenge of jump moves can be exciting. But sometimes, it’s more fun to do a workout that doesn’t feel strenuous on your joints. This routine is ideal for getting you moving, without burning you out.

5. HIIT The Treadmill

I often associate the treadmill with monotony. Nevertheless, doing interval training on the treadmill can make the time go by quickly.

Intervals take the monotony out of the treadmill! The fluctuations in speeds will help you stay in the zone, counting down the minutes until you complete the challenge. Add some upbeat music and your workout will be over before you know it!

6. 10-Minute Bodyweight Circuit for Butt and Thighs

Anyone can commit to a 10-minute workout! This simple lower body routine is all you need to get your muscles burning.

The workout uses four heart-challenging moves to get your blood pumping: pulse lunges (you WILL feel the burn), lateral side jumps, high knees, and skaters. These moves are quick to torch calories and eliminate fat.

Additionally, because the workout is only 10 minutes, you can fit it in any day of the week. Just make sure you have time for a shower afterwards because it will leave you sweaty!

7. 8 Yoga Poses for a Stronger Core

Another way you can break away from lifting and cardio is with yoga. Many people dismiss yoga because they don’t think it’s a real workout. Nevertheless, once you try a challenging move, you’ll realize just how intense yoga can be.

Yoga has the power to leave you sore, build upper and lower body strength, and burn body fat. A good yoga workout will make your muscles shake. You might struggle to keep your balance at first, but it’s this struggle that helps you build strong muscle.

This 8 pose workout is excellent for toning your stomach area. It’ll also challenge your balance and flexibility.

Whatever workout you decide to try, remember that fitness should be fun. If a workout bores you, or leaves you in constant pain, it’s probably not right for you.

These seven full body toning workouts are a wonderful place to start, but you can always check out more on our workouts page. We have a variety of HIIT routines you can choose from, as well as free monthly workout calendars to help keep you on track.

Let us know about your favorite Skinny Ms workouts in the comments section below and follow us on Facebook for more fitness advice, recipes, and more!

You already know that push-ups, squats and lunges are body-sculpting all-stars. But you can get more out of them to spike your heart rate, boost caloric burn and elevate your metabolism—without a single piece of equipment explains Erin Bulvanoski, trainer at KORE in New York City. This expert-designed sequence combined with cardio challenges turns the basic moves into a a formula for total-body toning.

Since this routine doesn’t require anything other than your own body it can be done in your living room or bedroom first thing when you wake up in the morning. Start with a quick warm up (two-three minutes of jumping jacks and jogging in place) then tackle the moves below.

1. Standing Lunges

Start standing with feet together. Step right leg forward, bend knees, keeping right knee stacked over right ankle, left hip in line with left knee. Straighten legs and return to standing; alternate sides with each rep. Do this for 60 seconds.

Rest 15 seconds.

2. Push-Ups

Start in a high plank with wrists directly under shoulders, body in straight line from head to toe. Bend elbows, keeping them close to torso, to lower chest to ground, then straighten arms. Do this for 60 seconds.

Rest 15 seconds.

3. Jumping jacks

Stand tall with arms by sides. Jump legs apart and swing hands overhead. Jump feet back together as hands come back down to sides. Do this for 90 seconds.

Rest 30 seconds.

4. Plank Taps

Start in a high plank with wrists directly under shoulders, body in straight line from head to toe. Shift weight to left side and lift right arm, bringing right hand to tap left shoulder. Return right hand to the ground; alternative sides with each rep. Do this for 60 seconds.

Rest 15 seconds.

5. Bicycle Crunches

Lie face up with hands touching behind head, elbows out wide and legs extended. Lift torso, arms and legs off ground. Bend left knee and twist body to the left, bringing right elbow to meet left knee over the torso; alternate sides with each rep. Do this for 60 seconds.

Rest 15 seconds.

6. Jump Squats

Start standing with feet hip-width apart and arms by sides. Squat down, keeping chest lifted, then explode up. Land and immediately lower into the next rep. Do this for 90 seconds.

Rest 30 seconds.

7. Twisting Mountain Climbers

Start in a high plank with wrists directly under shoulders, body in straight line from head to toe. Bring right knee under torso to meet left elbow, then bring left knee to meet right elbow. Continue to alternate sides quickly. Do this for 60 seconds.

Photo Credit: Getty

Every Monday we tap an industry expert for tips that only insiders know. This week Brooke Siler, Pilates pioneer and author of ‘The New York Times’ best-seller ‘The Pilates Body: The Ultimate At-Home Guide to Strengthening, Lengthening and Toning Your Body- Without Machines’, explains that it is indeed possible to get a toned physique without wasting hours at the gym—or wasting away. Here’s how:

Photo: Getty

1. Don’t stop eating!

“One of the worst ways to get to your tone-goal is to stop getting the necessary calories into your body. Your body needs fuel to keep your metabolism metabolizing. Get as much high quality food (i.e. high in nutrients and low in artifice) into your system throughout the day as you can. Five to six meals is a great way to go.”

2. Swap your carbs for…better carbs.

“Instead of starches (potatoes, breads, pastas, etc.) switch your carbohydrate intake to fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and make sure you are getting enough healthy fats like seeds and nuts and avocados. This will give you the necessary calories to build the muscle you need while kicking your metabolism into gear to lose the fat you want.”

3. Don’t scrimp on protein, even if you’re scrimping on other things.

“Increase your protein intake to help sustain muscle during weight loss. Especially when losing weight quickly, your body can lose muscle mass which will affect the toned look you’re seeking. The protein leucine (in whey, animal proteins, and dairy) has a direct effect on muscle to prevent this muscle loss.”

4. Stay hydrated—your muscles depend on it.

“Muscles are 70-80 percent water and dehydration leads to muscle breakdown. In order to increase the production of new muscle tissue it’s imperative to keep yourself properly hydrated with water and the right electrolyte balance (sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium).”

5. Try interval training.

“If you’re someone who gravitates toward doing lots of cardio you’ll do better to lose fat without sacrificing muscle if you switch to intervals, i.e. sprinting all-out for one minute and then slowing way down for two. (Do this for thirty minutes, three times weekly.) In an hour-long Pilates workout, you speed up and slow down, and alter resistance on each exercise to create the ultimate interval workout.”

6. Make your muscles multitask for a longer calorie burn.

“Choosing exercises that target different muscle groups (i.e. a lunge with a bicep curl, a Pilates push-up with a leg lift) allows you to employ more muscles at once without exhausting any individual muscle too quickly. This way, not only will you have more energy for your workout, but by working more muscles at once, more hormones are released, stimulating more calories to be burned throughout the day.”

7. No, you won’t bulk up from lifting weights.

“To actually bulk up like a bodybuilder is really difficult, and requires changing the foods you eat, when you eat them, and lifting very, very heavy weights, among other things. So while your mind may tell you that you’ll ‘bulk up’ from working with light to moderate weights, you won’t. Instead, while strength training builds muscle, it also boosts your metabolism, burns calories, and accelerates weight loss, leaning you out in the process.”

8. Chill out.

“Stress elevates the cortisol hormone, which is responsible for your body storing fat and diminishing muscle. Get enough quality sleep, laugh more, breathe, stretch, get a massage…whatever works!”

9. Bring a trainer to your living room—or hotel room.

“Take advantage of great mobile workout sites like Pilatesology and PilatesAnytime to get your Pilates workout in with great teachers and a great variety of workouts wherever you go!”

10. Know that it won’t be easy.

“In order for improvement to occur, you must continue to push your body to adapt to increasing levels of weight, tension, endurance, reps, speed, etc. Vary your movements and workout elements mentioned, and always move with awareness and control. Your body will not change until you are determined to push it to change.”

For more insider fashion and beauty tips, see all Tricks of the Trade posts here.

Related: The Four Week Workout To Crop Top-Worthy Abs

Related: How to Meditate in 5 Minutes or Less

Victoria Dawson Hoff Associate Editor Victoria Hoff is the associate editor at ELLE.com, covering everything from fashion to beauty to wellness.

Strengthen Your Core With 5 Simple Exercises

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From VOA Learning English, this is the Health and Lifestyle report.

Your core is a complex network of muscles. It includes your abdominal muscles, back muscles and the muscles around you pelvis. Basically, your core is all the muscles in your torso.

Harvard University’s website explains that a strong core is helpful for everyone. A strong core makes doing everyday activities easier. Basically, almost every movement of your body either begins or travels through your core.

So, a strong core helps you in many ways.

A strong core helps you bend over to pick up a child or reach high above your head to put something on a shelf. It helps your body move when you clean your home, fix your car or work in your garden.

Also, having a strong core can protect you from other problems. It can prevent back and neck injuries. A strong core helps your posture. It helps you to stand up straight and look more confident. But more importantly, health experts at Harvard remind us that good posture lessens stress on the spine and helps us to breathe more deeply.

But wait, there’s more.

Experts at the Mayo Clinic explain on their website that core exercises train the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen to work together. This improves your balance and stability.

Strong core muscles also help to make all sports and recreational activities easier and more pleasurable — whether you are hiking with your family, dancing with your wife or playing a sport with your friends.

So few would argue that a strong core is important. But with life’s busy schedules, how can we find time for core exercises?

The good news is, there are several simple core exercises. You do not need to go to a gym. You don’t need expensive equipment. You can strengthen your core with floor exercises. All you need is a comfortable space on the floor, a mat — if you prefer — and maybe a towel.

Five core exercises

These five exercises suggested by the Mayo Clinic target the smaller muscles in your core that are often overlooked in other types of exercise. These exercises are also static, meaning you get into position and stay there still for several deep breaths.

1. The Bridge

The bridge is a classic exercise to strengthen the core.

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent. Keep your back in a neutral position. This means do not arch or round your back.
  • Tighten your abdominal muscles. Then raise your hips off the floor until they are aligned with your knees and shoulders. In other words, imagine drawing a line that connects your knees, hips and shoulders.
  • Hold for several deep breaths.

This exercise is called the Bridge.

2. The Quadruped

The quadruped is another exercise that targets the core.

  • Start on your hands and knees. Place your hands on the floor directly below your shoulders. Align your head and neck with your back. Tighten your abdominal muscles.
  • Raise your left arm and your right leg at the same time. Then hold for three deep breaths.
  • Release back to your hands and knees. And repeat with your right arm and left leg.

This exercise, called the Quadruped, targets your core.

3. The Plank Pose

This pose is a foundation of many yoga exercises. It looks simple, but it is a full core workout.

  • Start on all fours, meaning on your hands and knees. Lower yourself down so that you are resting on your forearms. Stretch out your legs behind you.
  • Align your head and neck with your back. Place your shoulders directly above your elbows.
  • Tighten your abdominal muscles.
  • And hold for as many deep breaths as you can. You can slowly build up time as your get stronger.

This is the easy version of the Plank Pose.

The more advanced version is basically the beginning of a push up.

  • For an added challenge, raise yourself onto your hands. Your hands should face forward with your wrists under your shoulders. (If you have problems with your wrists, adjust your hands so they are comfortable.)
  • The body should be in a straight line from the top of your head to your heels.
  • Do not dip or raise your hips. And do not let your chest sink down to the floor.
  • Hold for several deep breaths.

This is the advanced Plank Pose.

4. The Side Plank

The side plank challenges your stability and improves core strength by working the muscles along the side of your body.

  • Lie on your left side. Raise yourself onto your left forearm. Place your left shoulder directly above your left elbow. Keep your shoulders, hips and knees in alignment. Rest your right arm along the side of your body.
  • Tighten your abdominal muscles and hold for several deep breaths. Then repeat on your right side.
  • For an added challenge, balance on your left hand. Raise your hips off the floor and extend your right hand toward the ceiling. Hold for several deep breaths. Then repeat on your right side.

This is the easy version of the Side Plank improves exercise.This is the advanced Side Plank pose. It improves your balance and stability.

5. The Superman

This exercise strengthens your lower back. It also allows you to pretend you are flying like Superman!

  • Lie on the floor on your stomach. Place a rolled up towel under your hips to support your back. Tighten your abdominal muscles.
  • Raise your right arm off the floor. Hold for several deep breaths. Lower your right arm and repeat with your left.
  • Then raise your right leg off the floor. Hold for several deep breaths. Lower your right leg and then repeat with your left.

For an added challenge, try this version.

  • Raise both arms at the same time. Hold for several breaths. Then raise both legs at the same time. Hold for several breaths.
  • Then try raising both arms and both legs at the same time. Hold for several breaths.

The Superman strengthens your lower back.

These are all simple exercises that most people should be able to do. But you know what is right for your body. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. And, of course, if you have any health concerns, check with your doctor before doing any exercises.

And that’s the Health & Lifestyle report.

I’m Anna Matteo, wishing you a strong core!

Anna Matteo wrote this story for VOA Learning English. Kelly Jean Kelly was the editor. Ashley Thompson demonstrates the exercises.

Words in This Story

posture – n. the way in which your body is positioned when you are sitting or standing

confident – adj. having a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something : having confidence

spine – n. the row of connected bones down the middle of the back

stability – n. the quality or state of someone who is emotionally or mentally healthy

abdominal – n. the part of the body below the chest that contains the stomach and other organs

pelvis – n. the wide curved bones between the spine and the leg bones

torso – n. the main part of the human body not including the head, arms, and legs

classic – adj. very typical

tighten – v. to make (something) tight or tighter or to become tight or tighter

yoga – n. a system of exercises for mental and physical health

arched – adj. something that has a curved shape

align – v. to arrange things so that they form a line or are in proper position

alignment – n. a forming in line

Check your understanding of this article by taking a quiz!

Strengthen Your Core With 5 Simple Exercises

Start the Quiz to find out

Ab workouts are really important because a strong core has been linked to injury prevention, improved runner form, and better balance. And when it comes to ab workouts for women, it’s not all about planks and crunches. In fact, doing full-body moves such as squats and deadlifts are really effective ways of working your core, too, say Amber Rees and Lindsey Clayton, the co-founders and trainers behind the Brave Body Project workout program and fitness community.

“Your core is your powerhouse! A strong core makes simple tasks, like walking up and down stairs, easier and harder tasks, like running and strength training, much more effective,” Rees and Clayton explain.

A quick disclaimer: You can’t spot train your abs, or any other muscle for that matter. To see results it takes a combination of full-body strength training, regular cardio, and a healthy, clean diet.

With that in mind, add one or all of these moves to your regular routine and you’ll be feeling the burn in all the right ways.

Designed by Megan Tatem

1. Bird Dog

“This move focuses on lower back strength and balance. The first few reps may leave you feeling a little awkward and off balance, but the more you do them, the more control you’ll have,” Clayton and Rees explain.

Katherine Wirsing

A. Start on all fours with wrists below shoulders and knees below hips.

B. Extend left leg behind body without arching back. Hold for 10 seconds then return to start. Do 3 sets of 10 reps on each side.

2. Squat to Cross Body Twist

“We love this move because it’s a full-body burner! You’re engaging your biggest muscle groups (your glutes and legs) while firing up your core and strengthening your obliques,” Clayton and Rees say.

Katherine Wirsing

A. Hold one medium-weight dumbbell on right shoulder and stand tall with feet hip-width distance apart.

B. Drive hips back and lower into a squat.

C. Push through heels to stand tall and twist torso bringing right elbow to meet left knee. Do 15 reps then switch sides. Repeat for 3 sets.

3. Woodchopper

“This is a strength and cardio move — double win,” say Clayton and Rees.

Katherine Wirsing

A. Stand tall with feet hip-width apart and hold one medium-weight dumbbell to the outside of right hip.

B. Drive hips back and lower into a squat. This is the starting position.

C. Begin to stand tall, come on to ball of right foot and twist at torso to bring weight across chest and above left shoulders. Return to start. Do 3 sets of 15 reps on each side.

4. Hollow Body Hold

“Think about pulling your belly button down toward your spine instead of pushing your stomach out,” Clayton and Rees advise.

Katherine Wirsing

A. Start lying on back with arms and legs extended. Zip legs together and slowly lift arms, shoulders, and legs off floor while keeping the lower back pressing against the ground.

B. Hold for 10-20 seconds, then lower back to ground. Repeat 5 times.

5. Side Forearm Plank With Twist

“Adding a little rotational work forces you to engage more muscles than by simply holding a plank,” Clayton and Rees explain. “It’s a little sneaky extra credit for your abs.”

Katherine Wirsing

A. Start in side forearm plank on left side with right hand behind head.

B. Keep hips lifted and rotate torso toward floor to bring right elbow to ground. Do 3 sets of 10 reps on each side.

6. Downward Dog to Knee Hold

“This full-body move is a great way to increase your range of motion as well as give some extra love to your oblique muscles,” explain Clayton and Rees.

Katherine Wirsing

A. Start in a straight-arm plank position. Press hips up and back into downward dog. Lift right leg in air behind body.

B. Exhale and move into plank position and bring right knee to right elbow. Then press back into downward dog position. Do 3 sets of 10 reps on each side.

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A 30-Minute Full-Body Workout To Do At Home

Life can get overwhelming for all of us sometimes. But here’s the hard truth: taking care of yourself through diet and exercise becomes especially important when you have a lot going on. Practicing self care by feeding your body nutritious meals and getting in a full body workout can help boost your mood, improve your sleep, and help ward off injury, illness, and disease. So let’s get to it! Here’s a 30-minute full body workout you can do at home, on your own time. Do it first thing in the morning before anything else gets in the way, on your lunch break, when you get home from work, you choose!

30-Minute Full-Body Workout

Ready to get your sweat on? Do this 30-minute full body workout that will work all the major muscle groups. You don’t need any equipment—just your own bodyweight and a little room to move.

Here’s how it works:

  • Perform each exercise for 1 minute.
  • Rest for 30 seconds in between each move
  • Once you finish all of them, go back to the top and repeat everything again, making a 30-minute full body workout!

Basic Squat

A) Stand tall with your feet hip-distance apart. Your hips, knees, and toes should all be facing forward.

B) Bend your knees and extend your buttocks backward as if you are going to sit back into a chair. Make sure that you keep your knees behind your toes and your weight in your heels. Rise back up and repeat.

Squat Jumps

A) Start standing with feet hip-distance apart and lower into a squat position by bending the knees. Keep the spine straight, chest lifted, and knees behind toes. Arms are in front of the chest for balance.

B) Jump straight up and swing arms overhead. Return to squat.

Dive Bomber Push-Ups

A) Begin with your hands and feet shoulder-width apart, and your hips raised so that your body forms an inverted V.

B) Keeping your shoulder lowered away from your ears, bring your chest forward between your hands as you bend your arms.

C) Continue to glide through as you straighten your arms and bring your chest up. Your hips will now be hovering just above the floor. To finish the push-up, reverse the glide, raising your hips back up.


A) Start in a plank position with arms and legs long, hands shoulder distance apart.

B) Walk or jump both feet between your hands coming into a low squat. Jump straight up as high as possible, land, and come back to your plank position.

Side Lunges

A) Start standing with legs slightly wider than shoulder-distance apart and toes pointed forward.

B) Shift your bodyweight to one leg, bending the knee until it reaches a 90-degree angle and the other leg is straight. Then switch sides.


A) Start with your legs slightly wider than shoulder-distance apart and arms at the sides.

B) Bring one leg behind at a slight angle into a reverse lunge. The front knee will come to a 90-degree angle.

C) Swing the arms in front of that bent knee and leap the back leg forward to switch sides in a skating motion. Arms alternate as you switch sides like a speed skater.

Tricep Dips

A) Start seated with knees bent and feet on the floor. Place hands directly under the shoulders with finger facing your feet, and lift hips to a hover.

B) Bend elbow straight back and use your triceps to press back up.

Crab Walk

A) Begin by sitting on the floor with your feet hip-distance apart in front of you. Bring your arms behind you with your hands flat on the floor. Raise yourself off the floor.

B) Begin crawling forward by moving your left hand, followed by your right foot and then your right hand followed by your left foot.

Glute Bridges

A) Lie on back with bent knees hip-distance apart, and feet flat on mat stacked under the knees.

B) Engage the core and squeeze your glutes as you lift your hips to a bridge. Hold and squeeze a few seconds and return to mat with control.

Bend Extend Ab Tuck

A) Start seated on mat with arms behind you and fingers facing your back. Sit back on your hands and lift up your feet off the mat keeping the knees bent.

B) Keep abs tight and press your legs out long coming back onto forearms. You should feel your lower abdominals working, then push yourself back up and pull your knees in to return to your starting position.

YOU DID IT! Now take a short breather, get a sip of water, and go back to the top to begin again. If you want to download, print, or save this full-body workout, click below.

I am so excited about today’s blog post! This collection of fifteen 30-minutes-or-less workouts is a reader request post from more than a few of you following my Instagram Stories Q&A post from July. It’s finally here!

In my Q&A post I talked about finding the motivation to workout after baby (and in general) and discussed the shift I made in my own fitness routine after Chase was born. I quickly realized that workouts did NOT need to last an hour to be effective and I needed to be smart with the small amount of time I had to workout at home when Chase was napping if I wanted to accomplish anything else on my to-do list other than a workout while he slept.

I increased the intensity of my at home workouts but cut my typical pre-baby workout time significantly, so I was often done in 30 minutes or less. Workouts became more efficient and understanding I could work up a sweat and knock out a workout in under 30 minutes and didn’t need a full hour was huge for me as well from a consistency standpoint.

For today’s post, I wanted to share a roundup of fifteen 30-minutes-or-less workouts you can easily do at home. I broke them up into three groups of five workouts: One total body group, one upper body group and one lower body group. (The upper and lower body workouts require the use of dumbbells. If you don’t have any at home and would like to purchase them, I highly recommend checking out used sporting goods stores for discounted weights.) Hopefully this post will be a good post to bookmark and keep on hand when you are looking to work out at home and don’t want to spend more than 30 minutes working up a sweat!

Note: For detailed descriptions of the exercises in each workout and important form cues, click on the links to be directed to the full workout post.

Total Body Workouts (No Equipment Required)

  • Cardio HIIT Workout

This workout incorporates three blocks that you will rotate through four times. The first round is the longest and the duration of each subsequent round decreases a bit. Hopefully this serves as motivation to stick with it, knowing you’ll knock out the hardest part of the workout first!

  • 10 to 1 Bodyweight Workout

This workout incorporates total body plyometric exercises that will spike your heart rate. You’ll progress through the workout in a decreasing repetition format and can move down the line or perform exercises in supersets of two.

  • Total Body Floor Workout (Low Impact)

This Total Body Floor Workout is perfect for days when you don’t have any equipment to work with and cannot make any noise during a workout. It’s a low impact, totally silent workout that will work your upper body, lower body and core through three rounds of exercises that will have your muscles feeling the burn!

  • Bodyweight Tabata Workout

Don’t hate me, but this workout is technically 32 minutes (if you stick to the allotted time), so it’s a little over the 30-minute threshold of this post, but I had to include it because it’s a great go-to for me when I really want to WORK and challenge myself to the max. The workout will work your whole body in the following format: Lower Body / Upper Body / Core / Cardio in short bursts of 20-seconds on followed by 10 seconds off.

  • 10 to 100 Driveway Workout

No you don’t need to do this workout in your driveway but you totally could since it doesn’t require any equipment. To do this workout you’ll work your way up from 10 reps all the way to 100 reps of an assortment of exercises that will alternate upper body, lower body, cardio and core exercises (in that order).

Upper Body Workouts (Dumbbells Only)

  • Everything One Minute Upper Body Workout

As the name of the workout implies, you’ll cycle through one minute of upper body strength exercises for a total of three total rounds. If you decide to try this workout and have been strength training for a while, I encourage you to challenge yourself and lift heavy. Don’t worry about the number of reps you complete during each one-minute round. Focus instead on flexing your muscles and your form. If you fail out during the minute you’re working, don’t worry about it. Shake your arms out and try to get in another rep or two before the minute is up.

  • Upper Body Drop Set Workout

This is one of those random workouts I shared on the blog that I personally reference ALL THE TIME because I love it so much. It’s a challenging workout because it incorporates both supersets and drop sets (which also makes it a lot more fun that most upper body workouts) and it’s a workout I find myself going back to time and time again. I have to really book it to make it through this workout in 30 minutes so you may go a bit over in time but try not to rush if it will cause you to sacrifice form.

  • Back to Basics Arm Workout

If you’re looking for a no-nonsense workout that focuses solely on strength training, this is the one for you! It will work your biceps, triceps and shoulders in a superset format.

  • Upper Body Strength Pulse Hold Workout

To complete this workout, you’ll perform four rounds of four different supersets. All four rounds of each superset should be completed in its entirety before moving onto the next one to maximize the burn and fully fatigue the muscle.

  • Jump Rope Upper Body Workout

Even if you don’t have a jump rope at home, you can still do this workout! Simply imitate the jump rope motion or substitute high knees for jump rope. To complete this workout, you will begin with one minute of jump rope. If you’re looking for an added challenge, you can train up by doing one minute of doubleunders, but I think one minute of regular jump rope is absolutely tough enough in this workout since it’s the backbone of the circuit. Pace yourself, my friends!

After one minute of jump rope, you’ll move onto the strength portion of the workout and complete three sets of 12 to 15 repetitions of five different upper body strength exercises… and in between each set, you’ll complete another minute of jump rope! To complete this workout in 30 minutes, you’ll have to really push yourself and take minimal breaks, but be sure to rest and listen to your body.

Lower Body Workouts (Dumbbells Only)

  • Bodyweight Lower Body Workout

I initially created this workout to use in a boot camp class I taught before Chase was born and it’s an easy one to customize to make longer or shorter depending on the amount of time you have to sneak in a workout.

  • Fast Paced + Sweaty Leg Workout

Grab a pair of dumbbells and get ready to sweat! This workout incorporates four rounds of four supersets. If you’re nervous about using a bench or chair at home to complete the step ups, simply substitute alternating lunges with a front kick or a 60-second wall sit in their place.

  • Jump Rope + Lower Body Circuit Workout

If you often find yourself looking to knock out some cardio in the middle of your lower body workouts, this is a good one to keep in your back pocket. Add another round for an extra challenge!

  • 60, 45, 30 Leg Burner Workout

This leg burner workout incorporates strength training and lower body plyometric exercises so your hamstrings, glutes, quads and booty will be burnin’ in no time at all.

  • Lunges for Days Leg Workout

I’m not going to lie… as someone who detests lunges, I cannot say I love this workout I first completed at Burn Boot Camp, but I DO love the way I feel when it’s done! Such a great sense of accomplishment! And if you don’t own a stability ball for the hamstring curls, simply substitute weighted bridges or deadlifts in place of that exercise.

Additional Workout Post Roundups

  • 10 Workouts to Try When You’re Bored at the Gym
  • 10 At Home and Travel Workouts
  • Collection of Walking Workouts
  • Collection of Upper Body Workouts
  • Collection of Leg Workouts

The 30-Minute Total-Body Strength Workout

High-intensity interval training saves time, plus it can improve your cardio strength and keep you burning calories for hours after your workout is over.Physiological adaptations to low-volume, high-intensity interval training in health and disease. Gibala MJ, Little JP, Macdonald MJ. The Journal of physiology, 2012, Jan.;590(Pt 5):1469-7793.But this HIIT routine packs an extra punch: supersets. In this workout, you’ll do three moves back-to-back with no rest; then repeat the entire set before moving on to the next group of moves.

This intermediate routine from Grokker coach and certified trainer Kelly Lee comes with tons of modifications, so no matter your exercise level, there’s no excuse not to try. You’ll enjoy this workout most if you can use a set of dumbbells (or a kettlebell) and a mat, but you can also use your bodyweight. Start with the warm-up, then use your core, lower body, and upper body in nearly every compound move.

Find the full list of moves below and when you’re ready to start, just press play.

  • Leg raise 21’s
  • Bridge
  • Plank

Second Series

  • Squat, curl, and press
  • Lunge with rotation
  • Woodchops

Third Series

  • Squat with alternating press
  • Sissy squat to lateral raise
  • Skaters

Fourth Series

  • Sumo squat with upright row
  • Static lunge with lateral raise
  • W’s

Fifth Series

  • Jack knife
  • Plank with dips
  • Side plank


Interested in more short and effective at-home workouts? There are thousands waiting for you on Grokker, the comprehensive online resource for wellness. Get 30% off a Grokker.com membership by entering promo code GREATIST at checkout.

Tone workouts at home

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